Music on Android: Easier Than Ever
Getting a music collection synced and loaded onto your Android phone can be cumbersome, especially if you’re used to Apple devices like the iPhone or iPad where everything magically syncs through iTunes. Don’t worry, getting your music on your Android device and keeping it up to date is possible, even if it does involve a little more work up front. We’ll explain several possible ways you can get music onto your Android device.
The USB Mounting and MTP Approach
The first way to get music onto your Android phone is to simply connect it to your computer via USB and mount it as a drive (similar to the way you would with a thumb drive or external hard drive). Putting files on your phone may require putting it into USB Debugging Mode – something we’ve recently covered here at Geek Magazine.
Google has attempted to streamline and standardize this process on newer versions of Android. If you have a newer Android phone (running Android 4.0 or later) and you plug your phone into your computer, you should see something called MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) try to install itself to your computer.
If your phone doesn’t have MTP compatibility and your computer is not recognizing it in USB debugging mode, then you may need to check to see if your phone manufacturer wants you to use one of their pieces of software to transfer files from your computer. These programs usually are free and are available on the manufacturer’s website.
But, those methods will just get your music files onto your phone. It will not sync and update your library like iTunes will with an iPod, iPhone or iPad. What if you want the full automated syncing experience? Thankfully for you, you’re in luck.
If you’re an iTunes user, a great program exists that allows you to seamlessly sync your iTunes collection to your Android device, just like if it was an iPhone. The name of the program is DoubleTwist (available for both Windows and Mac). It’s free, and works incredibly well. Install it, let it find your iTunes library and it will sync your music whenever your phone is connected to your computer. DoubleTwist will transfer your music as it is, meaning it will transfer the music files in their original format.
A word of warning, songs purchased from iTunes (not the DRM-free iTunes Plus songs) will be encrypted M4A files that your Android phone won’t be able to play. There are a number of ways to do this, the legal way being that you can pay iTunes a small upgrade fee to upgrade your songs to the iTunes Plus versions which are unencrypted. Once your music is DRM-free, you’ll be able to play them on your Android device.
If you’ve got other music programs, like Winamp, they may have native support to sync your music to whatever USB device (phone included) that you want. If it isn’t included natively with the software, there’s a good chance that a plugin may exist.
If you’re a music lover and you recently switched from an iPhone to an Android device, or if you’re moving up to Android as your first smartphone, there’s no reason you can’t stop enjoying your tunes while on the go!